This is a guest post from Mopinion.
Even in an era polluted by spam, email marketing continues to prevail as the most effective marketing channel (with the highest ROI), especially when it comes to B2C marketing. In fact, according to Lyfe Marketing, one in every four B2C customers favors email marketing above other marketing methods.
Much like other marketing channels, however, email marketing campaigns do present some challenges for businesses; many of which revolve around a lack of engagement and understanding of the target audience.
It seems that with many email campaigns, communications are purely outbound, which often leaves marketers with little to no insight into how their email was received by their audience (aside from open and click rates, of course). This lack of insight is precisely why it’s important to start collecting email campaign feedback. The question is… how? And what are the best ways to collect this feedback?
The power of using feedback in email campaigns
If your goal is to improve your efforts, the logical first step is to test your efforts, right? Customer feedback is a valuable method for testing uncertainties in your email campaigns, as well as gauging how an email was received by your target audience.
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Email feedback also plays an important role in customer-centricity. Collecting feedback within your email campaigns allows you to provide a platform for two-way communication with your customers, where they can share their thoughts and perceptions of your email(s) and the information you’ve provided. In other words, you as a marketer gain insight into what your readers truly value.
Let’s look at an example…
Say you’ve started up a standard promotional campaign around a new product. You’re hoping this series of emails will really boost sales of that particular product or least give it some extra exposure. However, in the likely event that your readers say nothing in response to your email (and you do not collect email feedback), you will have no way of knowing how it was received by your readers. You’re wondering…
- Was the content relevant?
- Was it useful?
- Was the promo relevant for this target group?
- Do my readers have suggestions for how I can improve?
These are the blanks that email campaign feedback will fill in for you…so let’s help get you started on the path to successful email campaigns with some feedback tips
5 tips for collecting feedback in your email campaigns
1. Ask questions that meet your goal.
Businesses create email campaigns with all kinds of different goals in mind. And with each of these campaigns, you hope to deliver a particular message to your customers. You’ve got welcome emails (for new subscribers), seasonal campaigns, post-purchase drip emails, monthly newsletters, and cart abandonment campaigns, just to name a few.
However, in order to collect useful feedback from these campaigns, it’s important to use questions in your feedback form that steer your customers in the right direction. For example, say you have sent out a post-purchase drip email. With this type of email, your goal is to follow up on the customer after he/she has successfully made a purchase.
Therefore, one of the most relevant questions to ask uses the Net Promoter Score (NPS): “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?”. This question is both simple and in line with your goal to gauge customer loyalty / satisfaction.
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Alternatively, for a newsletter email, your approach might look a little different. For example, you might want to try something more simplistic, such as “What did you think of this newsletter?”, using a simple yes or no answer option or even thumbs up / thumbs down if you want to make it a little more fun and engaging.
The more relevant these questions are to the goal of your email campaign, the better the results.
2. Keep your surveys short and sweet.
This is almost always the case with feedback, no matter where you are collecting it (e.g. websites, mobile apps, email, etc). The ever-increasing volumes of content now available online (including email inboxes) have significant implications for the attention span of our consumers.
They are scanning and retrieving only the information they deem important, and often if there’s too much content that takes them too much time to read through, it’s very likely that they’ll skip over it. That leaves you with a three-page feedback survey that almost never gets filled in, which is not what you’re going for.
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That is why it is so important to keep your feedback surveys short and sweet. Make sure your audience can quickly scan the text and provide you with feedback using little to no effort. This means asking one to two questions in your survey and leaving it at that.
3. Ask at least one or two open-ended questions.
Leaving your readers with the option to submit open-ended feedback is probably one of the best things you can do. Why? Open-ended questions give your readers the opportunity to submit a more detailed response, which can often identify the root of the problem or source of satisfaction, as well as generate ideas you haven’t even thought of yourself.
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Not to mention, when the time comes to sit down and analyze all of your customer feedback, those same open comments can be used to learn more about the sentiment behind the feedback (e.g. via word pairing, frequently used words, etc).
It is also easier to categorize feedback with open comments as there are new technologies, such as machine learning, that enable you to automatically categorize your feedback based on the content in the open comments.
4. Use feedback only when you know you can act on the results.
This is perhaps one of the most important pillars of a good feedback strategy. If you are willing to collect feedback, you must also be prepared to act on your feedback results! The reason is that if you can demonstrate real change from the feedback you ask for, it will boost any future email response rates and keep your readers engaged.
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Come up with a game plan on how and when you’re going to respond to the feedback you receive from your email campaigns. You’ve already laid out your objectives, so the next step is to decide who within your organisation will be involved in the process (e.g. sales- and marketing teams). It’s also helpful in some cases to devise a schedule for follow-ups. For example, how frequently will you respond to your readers and how? Will there be certain items you will prioritize? These are the kinds of things you need to be thinking about.
#5: Keep the reader informed of what you will do with their feedback.
Lastly, don’t forget to keep your customers in the loop. The likelihood that your readers will provide you with feedback is much higher if they know why they’re providing feedback. For example, let your readers know that with their feedback you intend to improve any future email(s). If your readers know it’s something that will really change for the better, odds are they’ll be more likely to take the time to send the feedback.
About the Author
Erin Gilliam, Content Marketer at Mopinion, has a background in international business and digital marketing. Mopinion is an all-in-one user feedback software that helps digital teams make sense out of customer feedback from websites and mobile apps and turn it into real-time insights. Mopinion is now one of the fastest growing companies in the digital customer experience space.